Friday, February 25 2005
In Uptown Kingston there is a bar called Snapper McGee's. From the name of the place you might think it's a frat hangout, but there are no institutions of higher learning or consequent fraternities in Kingston. To survive, a bar in this city is forced to attract a different sort of clientel. Gretchen and I had been to Snapper McGee's once before, and I'd actually liked the place. This was why I took my friend Mr. Tillson there tonight on our brief gentlemen's night out (which began with dinner at Stella's, the place with the great salad). For some reason I thought the place had pool tables, but it doesn't. Instead it features three or four dartboards, Foosball, and a videogame console that can play several different "classic games" from the early 1980s. Mr. Tillson and I played a round of Foosball followed by several games on the console.
While doing these things, I took note of the Friday night Snapper McGee's crowd. The other time I'd been here, it had seemed like it might be sort of a honky tonk, but tonight it had more of a Brooklyn dive feel. The music was either punk or Metallica, and most of the ladies present were slathered with tattoos and shot full of piercings. As for the men, well, they fell into one of four groups. The first of these featured an abundance of young men wearing baseball caps, some of them placed atop the head in that alternative backwards-facing configuration (which apparently doesn't signify any special sexual preference). I don't know what it is about certain male demographics that compels them to wear the baseball cap uniform, but (given the number of baseball caps despite their questionable utility) the force must be a strong one. Had this not been Kingston I might have mistaken them for college fratboys.
The second group was identical to the first, except that instead of being young and thin they were older (my age) and fatter. The fact that they were dressed the same as the younger men at the bar suggested to me that they might be having a little trouble letting going of a previous season of their lives. The third group were a group of hip men with cool hairdos and no baseball caps, though I think most of them were staff. The final group was comprised of us, Mr. Tillson and me, two married men drinking beer and playing videogames. To the rest of the bar we probably looked gay.
Snapper McGee's is a bar for singles, as reflected by its two unmatched demographics of guys in baseball caps. It's been so long since I've been around such a large number of single people that their behaviors looked exotic. They didn't care one way or the other about Foosball, quarter video games, or (aside from a couple young women when we arrived) the dartboards, and instead just mingled around the bar talking and drinking. The unmarried species of human didn't need to be doing any formalized bar room activity at all.
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